I know. No one does it on purpose. Everyone is doing what they think is best when it comes to teaching their little ones.
This can be a thin line to walk. No one likes being told what to do with their child. No one wants to hear “hey, you probably shouldn’t teach your child that.”
Disclaimer- I’m not telling you how to parent. I’m not telling you what you’re doing is wrong. I’m writing this just to make you think and look at things from a different perspective.
Teaching them that they HAVE to share with everyone.
Don’t get me wrong I won’t allow my son to be a toy hoarder. I quickly correct ‘territorial toy mode’ when my son tries to take any toy a visitor wants.
BUT, if my son is focused and concreted on a toy that is HIS and some kid comes up, wanting it and expects it because my son “has” to share; no, I will not make my son share his toy. I will tell the kid that my son is playing with it right now and maybe he can have a turn when he’s finished.
Just imagine if you’re sitting at the park on your cellphone and someone walks up and says ‘hey I want to play with your phone!’ No matter how important what you’re doing is, what you’re concentrated on, how long you’ve even been doing it; you’re supposed to just give your phone up because it’s polite to share? Uh no.
I think it’s more important to teach children boundaries. If someone has something you want, you don’t get it just because you want it. Find something else to play with. Sometimes it’s not fair but that’s just something children should be prepared for.
Most times kids will want to play together and share and everyone will be happy but there is absolutely nothing wrong with your kiddo wanting to play with his toy alone and not give it up when someone else wants it.
Teaching them that our lives revolve around screens.
This one is hard. Screens are everywhere. Even most schools use screens to teach. I’m guilty of being on my phone way too much and my little one is already addicted to watching music videos.
This is something I do strive every day to stop though. I refuse to let my child play with my phone, he won’t be an iPad kid- go outside and play!
I’m sure screens are teaching kids wonderful things but what about the things they’re missing out on? Have you ever been at a Thanksgiving and looked around at your nieces and nephews? Are they running around and playing together or staring at a phone/video game having 0 conversations?
Think back to how you spent holidays with your family when you were younger. You probably cherish those memories so much. Don’t you want your little ones to have those moments to cherish as well?
Teaching them they aren’t allowed to tell adults no.
Boundaries are important. I put this in here because the amount of people I see forcing little ones to hug or kiss people makes me so sad.
I don’t care if you’re the grandma, uncle, aunt, mom, dad- your child does not OWE anyone physical attention. You should teach consent from a young age.
This is scary to think about but most children are sexually assaulted by people they know, especially family members. I am not saying you should assume everyone wants to hurt your child but you should teach your child everything you can to keep them out of that situation.
Disclaimer- sexual assault is NEVER the victims’ fault. You could teach your child the “right” things all day and it could still happen to them.
Teach your children they don’t automatically owe anyone anything just because they are an elder/family member. If they don’t feel like hugging or kissing, then they don’t have to. It doesn’t make them rude. It makes them in control of their own body.
Try high fives instead! I’ve asked for hugs and been told no before, instead of insisting I would always say something like ‘That’s fine. How about a high five instead?’ Usually, kids are quick to jump up and high five you!
Teaching them to be afraid of police officers
I’ve seen it so many times. A mom telling her kids while pointing at a police officer “if you don’t stop being bad they’re going to take you.” That’s not what the police are for. You should not embed in your child’s mind from a young age that the polices’ goal is to “get them.”
We need to teach our children that our police officers are here to help. This will help the police feel less on edge. It’s sad what’s been going on in our country these past few years. I know people do not agree but police brutality DOES happen to people. I don’t think all police are bad. I don’t even think that the ‘bad’ police are intentionally bad. I think that we live in a time when everyone is in fear and on high alert. Police and civilians.
Everyone is just trying to get home to their families at the end of the day. The police are scared of people hurting them and people are scared of the police hurting them. It’s a sad cycle.
We need to stop these thoughts towards the police. They are here to help. If you break the law; you will have consequences but we shouldn’t grow up to FEAR those consequences or the people enforcing them.
Teaching them unneeded competition
Competition is actually a wonderful thing for your children. It’s the unneeded competition that is 100% unnecessary and sets your child up for a life of comparison.
We don’t want our children turning into adults that just have to one up and have everything better than other people do. Remember that next time you ask your child how they did on a test followed by well how did Billy do on the test? Billy’s test scores DO NOT matter when it comes to your child’s test scores. Stop teaching your child that they are only doing well if they’re doing better than someone else.
As long as they are passing, doing they’re best and they are happy- then they are winners.
Teaching blind obedience
Yes, children should listen to you and do as you say but if they don’t understand why they have to do what you say- explain it to them. None of that “because I said so” stuff.
Also, remember that they don’t have to do something just because you tell them to. Yes- they can have consequences for not doing as you tell them. This doesn’t mean they control everything but sometimes we have to let our children learn consequences in order to actually succeed in life.
This can be hard for parents because it’s put in our heads that our job as a parent is to be in 100% control of children. Sometimes, it’s not that deep though. If your kid is safe- let them make choices on there own. Let them ask questions. Sometimes you’ll find the thing that you’re not allowing them to do isn’t really that a big of a deal if you just let them do it.
Imagine you’ve taught your child to always do as told and never question anything and then they are in their 30’s working in the corporate world and their boss is leading them to do some very questionable things. Your child may not have the ability to separate what they should/shouldn’t do in a situation like that. It can get so much deeper than this- and it really is eye-opening.
Just know all of you with little rebel kids- they’re going to be okay. 😉
Teaching them not to bully while being a bully yourself.
I cringe when I see this. From parents, teachers, siblings- you teach your children to be nice, not to bully; which is wonderful!
If you’re not modeling this behavior as well it’s also pointless. You can’t teach your child not to be a bully while being a bully.
You’ve seen it before; that teacher that constantly calls out one kid in front of the class for doing poorly on a test or not paying attention. The mom that hounds their child for making a bad grade in front of the whole family.
Who cares if they are doing poorly- they don’t deserve to be harassed and called out in front of EVERYONE. That is bullying. You shouldn’t do and you shouldn’t let your children do it.
They learn from you.
Teaching them they don’t have a reason to cry.
This one hits close to home with me. I’ve always been an emotional person. I’m a crier. Guess what, there is nothing wrong with that! Emotions are normal. It’s healthy to cry when you’re sad, happy, scared, or angry.
Now, even if you think “Wow, that is really nothing to cry about.” To your child IT IS. Maybe they are highly sensitive, but it’s your job as a parent to teach them to cope. Simply telling them to suck it up and stop crying is only going to make it worse.
Teach them that feelings are okay. Talk about those feelings. Ask ‘why are crying?’ Sincerely listen to the answer and talk through that situation with them. Tell them how you understand. It can be the most absurd thing ever but doing this will help your child in the future.
“I understand that you’re upset because you want a brownie. Brownies are very good and it makes me sad sometimes too when I can’t have them. It’s not time to eat brownies right now though. We can have one another time. If that makes you sad, that’s okay. Just know it’s going to be okay. Maybe we could eat an apple and it would make you feel better?”
This could do wonders! Try it for a week.
I know this makes some people want to roll their eyes but it’s really so important. Mental health problems are on the rise. Kids don’t feel listened to. As someone who’s struggled with mental health problems myself and had people close to me struggle- I can say that MANY of our problems stem from childhood. I don’t blame my parents because they honestly didn’t know any better. It is my goal to do differently though. We can end this crisis in America.
Just know we are trying out hardest. If you’re trying at being a good mom- then you’re succeeding at being a good mom.
I hope this list was insightful for you! Let me know what you agree with/disagree with. I’m open to all opinions!
Feel free to share!